Free Online Public Schools in Oregon

Students in grades K-12 pay no tuition to study in these virtual programs

Female student, closeup, face lit by the light of a computer monitor
Female student, closeup, face lit by the light of a computer monitor. Photo by Nick David ©Nick David / Collection: Iconica / Getty Images

Oregon offers resident students the opportunity to take online public school courses for free. Below is a list of no-cost online schools currently serving elementary and high school students in Oregon. In order to qualify for the list, schools must meet the following qualifications: Classes must be available completely online, they must offer services to state residents, and they must be funded by the government.

Insight School of Oregon—Painted Hills

Students pay no tuition to attend Insight School of Oregon—Painted Hills, which bills itself as "Oregon’s first online charter school for college and technical career-minded students." However, you will have to spring for school supplies like printer ink and paper, which the school does not provide. The school says its mission is:

"... to build an online Career and Technical Education school that equips students with essential academic and technical skills, enabling them to pursue post-secondary education, achieve occupational certifications, or directly enter the work force. By providing Oregon businesses with educated, skilled students who are ready for employment, we aim to benefit individuals, families, industries, and the economy throughout our state.​"

Insight school features:

  • An individualized learning plan for each student
  • K12's winning, online academic curriculum
  • Hands-on materials, books, and a school computer on loan
  • Highly qualified, Oregon-certified teachers
  • An advanced learner program
  • World languages
  • Student clubs, social events, and access to extracurricular activities and sports in participating school districts
  • A high school diploma for graduates who meet all state requirements

    Oregon Virtual Academy

    Oregon Virtual Academy (OVA) also uses online K12 curriculum. (K12 is a national online program that offers virtual schooling and curriculum in a variety of areas.) In general, the school's K-12 program includes:

    • Core courses that are similar to the standard courses offered by many other programs. They meet all academic requirements for each course area both for graduation as well as for potential admission into a wide range of colleges.
    • Comprehensive courses that are designed for students entering with a strong foundational knowledge and aptitude in the subject area being covered, as well as solid study skills.

    OVA offers an online K-6 curriculum and an online Secondary School Curriculum (7–12). The school is also completely tuition free for Oregon public school students.

    "Assessments are administered to ensure that each child will be matched to his or her level of proficiency," notes  Dr. Debbie Chrisop, the school's interim chief. "The secondary school program is paced and requires class attendance. It is also accredited by NWAC, a division of AdvancEd."

    Oregon Connections Academy

    Connections Academy is a national online program used by school districts and states nationwide.

    In Oregon, this virtual program which was established in 2005 offers:

    • A challenging K–12 curriculum developed by education experts
    • Instruction from state-certified teachers experienced in online instruction
    • Support from trained counselors, principals, and administrative staff
    • Free textbooks and curriculum materials needed to participate in a dynamic online learning environment
    • Computers for families with students in grades K–8

    In describing its success in virtual education over the years, the school notes:

    "Some wonder whether a nontraditional school program like Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA) can truly provide a quality education. Thousands of personal success stories from ORCA graduates and parents prove that this form of nontraditional schooling provides a quality education for students of all ages."

    Still, as with the previously mentioned online school programs, parents and students will need to pay for all school supplies as well as field trips.

    Choosing an Online School

    When choosing an online public school, look for an established program that is regionally accredited and has a track record of success. Choosing an online high school or elementary school can be tricky. Be wary of new schools that are disorganized, are unaccredited, or have been the subject of public scrutiny. 

    In general, many states now offer tuition-free online schools for resident students under a certain age (often 21). Most virtual schools are charter schools; they receive government funding and are run by a private organization. Online charter schools are subject to fewer restrictions than traditional schools. However, they are reviewed regularly and must continue to meet state standards. 

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    Your Citation
    Littlefield, Jamie. "Free Online Public Schools in Oregon." ThoughtCo, Oct. 7, 2017, Littlefield, Jamie. (2017, October 7). Free Online Public Schools in Oregon. Retrieved from Littlefield, Jamie. "Free Online Public Schools in Oregon." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 17, 2018).